7 key schools swap to solitary session in 2017


SINGAPORE: When college reopens on Tuesday (Jan 3), college students in 7 key schools will take pleasure in far better services and educating, as they swap to a solitary-session timetable.

It is element of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) objective for all key schools to move from a double to solitary-session design, in get to make far better use of college methods. That leaves only eight schools which will continue to carry out classes in the early morning and afternoon periods in 2017.

To make the changeover, enhancements would have to be created at schools. At Concord Primary University in Choa Chu Kang, for occasion, perform on new buildings and services was concluded about the holidays.

It has a new indoor sports corridor and the space down below it doubles as a basketball court and recreational location. To make full use of confined space, significant ropes and zip lines ended up created close to the partitions of the constructing, to make it possible for the college to carry out its outside education and learning programme.

High ropes created close to the college for its outside education and learning programme. (Photo: Concord Primary University)

In the new lecture rooms, lego-like tables can be rearranged to match various educating procedures.

Concord’s principal, Tonnine Chua, observed that the variations will make it possible for the college to make far better use of its time and methods: “Now the six ranges are equipped to arrive alongside one another as a total college. We are equipped to hold widespread programmes for them, like the celebration of festivals. If not we always want to program for additional methods and time to replicate whichever programmes that are essential for the small children.”

Tables which can be rearranged to match various educating procedures. (Photographs: Concord Primary University)

The suggestion for all key schools to swap to a solitary early morning session was created in 2009 by the Primary Training Review and Implementation (PERI) committee. The aim is to supply college students with “more time and space to interact meaningfully with their teachers”, in accordance to PERI’s report.

It is a move that is welcomed by the principal of Boon Lay Yard Primary, a different college which is transferring to a solitary-session timetable this year. The variations, in addition to choosing much more academics, will make it possible for the college to deploy employees based on their strengths.

“Now, my bodily education and learning, artwork and audio classes will be taught totally by academics who are properly trained in these places. Beforehand we do, but we continue to desired support from other academics who are not specialised,” described Mrs Ong Jia Miin. “It lets adaptability in timetabling and a great deal of adaptability in deployment.”

She added that college students will also reward from an improved buddy method, by having older college students display the Primary 1 small children close to.

“In the previous, it was the Primary two small children who guided the Primary 1 small children. Of system the Primary two small children did a fantastic career, but now with the solitary session, I’m equipped to get Primary 4 small children who are much more skilled and much more confident,” explained Mrs Ong.

Other schools producing the changeover this year are Admiralty Primary, Chua Chu Kang Primary, Si Ling Primary, Tao Nan and Woodgrove Primary, bringing the complete selection of solitary-session schools to 182.

This leaves just eight much more schools which have still to swap from a double-session timetable: 

  • Geylang Methodist Primary
  • Holy Innocents’ Primary
  • Maha Bodhi
  • Pei Chun Community
  • Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary
  • Crimson Swastika
  • Rulang Primary
  • Tanjong Katong Primary

In a assertion, MOE explained it will perform intently with the remaining eight schools: “We are doing work toward this, to guarantee that the full suite of services can cater to the total university student cohort when the respective schools transit to function in solitary session.”



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Hunger hanging physician demands far better health care in Nepal


KATHMANDU: Dr Govinda KC used 22 days lying on a gurney in a clinic in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, but he was not a affected individual. The orthopaedic surgeon was on hunger strike.

Dr KC has absent on hunger strike 10 situations above the earlier four many years in an endeavor to tension the govt to enhance health care in the impoverished Himalayan country — and he is guaranteed he will have to strike once again.

“The hospitals and medical institutions, they really don’t have proper infrastructure. They really don’t have adequate manpower, adequate equipment,” said Dr KC from a clinic bed exactly where he is recovering from his newest fast.

Nepal – a state of 28 million persons – has only seven medical practitioners, nurses and midwives, and fifty clinic beds, for each individual 10,000 persons, in accordance to the Entire world Wellbeing Corporation.

The WHO suggests at the very least 34.five skilled health care experts for every 10,000 persons.

Hospitals in Nepal are likely to be concentrated in towns but about 80 for every cent of the population is rural. (Photograph: AFP/PRAKASH MATHEMA)

The restricted wellness sector was more strained after the devastating 2015 earthquake, which broken approximately a third of general public clinics and hospitals.

Additional than 80 for every cent of the population stay in rural locations, reliant on rudimentary condition-operate clinics, when hospitals are concentrated in towns – and are largely non-public.

“Non-public wellness treatment is joined to better out-of-pocket payments, which sales opportunities to far more persons currently being impoverished as a consequence of wellness treatment,” said Jos Vandelaer, state director for the WHO in Nepal.

Wellbeing Minister Gagan Thapa said that when Nepal has built improvements, reducing baby and maternal mortality, health care remained restricted – and pricey.

“You have a person liver difficulty and you are again into poverty,” he said.

A thing of a medical Robin Hood, Dr KC, 60, is very well recognized in Nepal for his philanthropic function, travelling to some of the country’s most remote communities to deliver medical treatment and educate nearby wellness personnel.

He lives in doctors’ quarters at the again of the hospitals exactly where he is effective and spends less than a third of his income on himself, utilizing most of it to obtain medications and basic equipment for his clinics. His only luxury is a twenty-year-old tv.

He has travelled by itself to aid out in disaster zones all around the earth, providing his products and services to nearby hospitals in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

Broken Guarantees

Nepal has been plagued by political instability since it remodeled from a Hindu monarchy to a federal condition in 2008, two many years after the conclude of the bloody ten years-lengthy Maoist insurgency.

The revolving doorway politics has witnessed competing get-togethers request to retain impact by stacking loyalists in just the bureaucratic constructions — together with in the wellness sector.

A new constitution agreed previous year involved a pledge for universal health care, but the constitution is still to be executed.

Non-public hospitals and medical colleges have mushroomed, filling a hole left by the restricted govt-operate wellness sector, and frequently owned by the politically very well-connected.

“It is supposed to be a company-oriented sector, but it has turned to be [a] revenue making sector for the political get-togethers, for the politicians themselves,” said Dr KC.

Dr Govinda KC is demanding far better health care for the quite a few Nepalese who discover medical products and services also pricey. (Photograph: AFP/PRAKASH MATHEMA)

Top of Dr KC’s demands is an conclude to the political meddling that he says is placing business interests forward of producing general public wellness products and services.

Schooling is specifically contentious, dominated by charge-centered medical faculties which critics say lack basic services and enrol also quite a few students each and every year.

“There is no commercialisation of the medical instruction sector in the major developed countries, whilst in our state it is so rampantly commercialised,” said Dr KC, who properly trained in Bangladesh with residencies in Britain and Switzerland.

Wellbeing minister Thapa said at the very least six customers of the government’s advisory wellness committee, which has regularly blocked the passing of a medical instruction monthly bill to regulate physician coaching, experienced one-way links to non-public medical colleges.

The monthly bill was a person of the key demands Dr KC built in his newest strike, his longest still, which finished in early December after he attained an arrangement with the govt.

But the surgeon and his supporters have tiny assurance factors will adjust immediately.

“This is the tenth time that Dr Govinda KC has been in hunger strike, that implies there has been nine situations the arrangement has been broken,” said Dr Lijan Maharjan, part of his negotiating group.

Lying on a clinic bed, a woollen hat pulled down small in opposition to the cold, Dr KC appeared resigned to yet another strike.

“They is not going to let it take place if I really don’t,” he said.



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Syria clashes test fragile truce brokered by Russia, Turkey


BEIRUT: Fighting in parts of Syria on Sunday (Jan 1) threatened a shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, whose attempts to kickstart talks in direction of ending the conflict gained backing from planet powers.

The nationwide truce amongst the routine and non-jihadist rebels aims to sleek the way for peace talks in Kazakhstan later on this thirty day period orchestrated by Damascus’ allies Moscow and Tehran and rebel backer Ankara.

Essential moments in the Syrian conflict. (AFP/Thomas SAINT-CRICQ, Sabrina BLANCHARD)

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously accepted a resolution supporting the Russian and Turkish initiative aimed at ending the virtually 6-calendar year-old war that has killed extra than 310,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Members of the UN Security Council vote on a Russian-Turkish peace program for Syria at UN headquarters in New York on Dec 31, 2016. (AFP/KENA BETANCUR)

Air raids and clashes have continued to shake parts of the place considering that the ceasefire commenced at midnight on Thursday, in accordance to the Syrian Observatory for Human Legal rights monitoring group.

Four civilians, two of them young children, and 9 rebels have been killed considering that the truce took impact, mentioned the Britain-based mostly Observatory, which depends on a network of resources in Syria for its information.

In northern Syria, routine air strikes on Sunday targeted the rebel-held city of Atareb, the keep track of mentioned.

Routine air strikes also hit the Wadi Barada location in close proximity to Damascus, the place the government suggests rebels last 7 days deliberately targeted drinking water infrastructure that supplies the cash.

On Saturday night time, rebels shelled Fuaa and Kafraya, two besieged Shiite-bulk villages in northwestern Syria.

In the rebel bastion of Japanese Ghouta east of Damascus, which the government has waged a months-lengthy offensive to retake, opposition fighters exchanged fireplace with routine forces.

The truce excludes the Islamic Condition group and previous Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front.

Saturday’s UN resolution “welcomes and supports the attempts by Russia and Turkey to finish violence in Syria and jumpstart a political method”, and hails the planned talks in the Kazakh cash Astana as “an critical step”.

The evaluate also calls for the “immediate, protected and unhindered” shipping and delivery of humanitarian assist in Syria.

sixty,000 KILLED IN 2016

In Japanese Ghouta’s Hammuriyeh area, Syrian activists marked the New Yr by decorating a tree with lights and pics of war victims, an AFP photographer mentioned.

Damascus known as the ceasefire deal a “authentic option” to come across a political alternative to Syria’s war, which has killed extra than 310,000 people considering that it began in March 2011, (AFP/Omar haj kadour)

The Observatory suggests a overall of sixty,000 people lost their lives in violence across Syria in 2016, extra than thirteen,000 of them civilians.

Syria’s conflict began in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests and has considering that spiralled into a multi-entrance war involving a variety of sides and international players.

Russia and Turkey say the Astana talks in late January will health supplement, not change, UN-backed peace attempts, like negotiations established to resume on February eight in Geneva.

Moscow and Ankara have been working more and more intently on Syria, like on a deal to permit the evacuation of civilians and rebels from the besieged northern metropolis of Aleppo last thirty day period.

The battling in Syria has from time to time spilled in excess of into neighbouring Turkey, with many assaults blamed on IS or Kurdish militants.

In the hottest violence, 39 people, like a lot of foreigners, were killed Sunday when a gunman went on a rampage at an distinctive nightclub in Istanbul the place revellers were celebrating the New Yr.

No group has nonetheless claimed obligation for the attack.

Turkey has waged a 4-thirty day period incursion in Syria that it suggests is to expel IS and Kurdish fighters from the border area.

Washington has been noticeably absent from the new method to finish Syria’s conflict, but has known as the truce “good”.

Moscow – which has been supporting Damascus with air strikes considering that 2015 – has mentioned it hopes to convey US President-elect Donald Trump’s administration on board as soon as he normally takes place of work later on this thirty day period.

On Saturday, in the coastal routine stronghold of Tartus, two suicide bombers blew by themselves up at a security roadblock, killing two associates of the routine forces.



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2-storey complicated to exchange fireplace-ravaged Jurong West industry


SINGAPORE: Residents at Jurong West St 41 can count on a new two-storey complicated, which will property a industry and eldercare facilities, to be crafted in two years’ time. This was introduced by MP of Jurong GRC, Ang Wei Neng at the formal opening of a non permanent industry in front of Blk 495 on Sunday (Jan 1).

The non permanent industry homes stalls which experienced been ravaged by a fireplace set off by an arsonist final Oct. Mr Ang experienced previously explained the non permanent industry would be completely ready by Chinese New Calendar year at the end of January.

On Sunday, Mr Ang explained the initial flooring of the new complicated will be about the identical sizing as the previous moist industry and taking in property, when the second storey will have social communal facilities these types of as a senior treatment centre.

Jurong GRC MPs Desmond Lee, Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Ang Wei Neng at the opening of the non permanent industry (Image: Chan Luo Er)

The complicated is anticipated to cost about S$6.2 million and will be totally funded by the Govt. Building is specific to commence in mid-2017 and to be finished by the end of December 2018. It will be positioned on the web site of the previous moist industry at Blk 493 which experienced to be torn down after substantial fireplace problems. 



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